I'm sure I've mentioned this once or twice (or even 10 times), but my least favourite job is menu planning. Every week on Friday night (if I'm being good) or Saturday morning (and then we're in trouble), I sit down with Inspector Climate and try to figure out what we're going to eat for the next week.
I really don't enjoy it. I get sick of food quickly, and so I don't like eating the same thing frequently, but I also go on jags where I really like something and it's all I want. It makes me cranky menu planning.
So, one of the ways that we try to combat the cranky is buying cookbooks and this year we have three that I've been using A LOT and highly recommend for yummy delicious food. It also means that I've cooked a lot of new recipes that I haven't marked off on my life list. So I thought I'd share some of my fave cook books with you and also my favourite recipes from those cookbooks (I rate cook books by how many recipes I want to make over and over again. A cook book with only two good recipes, not a winner in my mind). I won't actually write the recipes out, but just notice the sheer volume per book.
Let's dive in:
1. Thug Kitchen – First of all, if you haven't seen the video clip for Thug Kitchen go google that right now. I'll wait. ... Secondly, this cook book is not for you if you are offended by a bit of cussing. This is a vegan cook book (I'm not vegan), but the recipes are delicious. These are my favourites:
1. Vietnamese rice noodle salad – what's not to love? A lovely light summer dinner.
2. Vegetable-noodle soup with ginger miso broth – this was a STAPLE this winter. We made it a lot and it was warming and cosy and best of all SUPER easy.
3. Warm the fuck up minestrone – Did I mention the swearing? The soup was tomato-y and full of hearty delicious veggies. Plus worked out great gluten free!
4. Tortilla soup – I had never considered blending up tortillas into a divine tomato based soup... but I dig it.
5. Wedding soup with white bean ball and kale – This was another winter staple. We made it a lot and the white bean balls are super fantastic and they kind of melt in the soup and somehow even get more delicious.
6. Roasted Sriracha cauliflower bites – Just yum. I could eat (and have) a whole head of cauliflower this way.
7. Vegetable pad thai with dry fried tofu – This was just yummy.
8. Roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos – Yes please.
Plenty – Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook. I was first introduced to Yotam from a cooking show that would play on SBS and so when I heard he had a vegetarian cook book out, I was pretty keen to get my hands on it.
1. Black Pepper Tofu – This recipes calls for 5 tablespoons of black pepper corns which terrified me, but it was AMAZING.
2. Multi-vegetable Paella – anything with grilled artichokes has my vote, amirite?
3. Very full tart – this is basically a quiche with sweet potato, zucchini, and tomatoes in it.
4. Brussels sprouts and tofu – two of my favourite things (although I try to only eat tofu every once and a while because I know it's not great for me and I know Jorge – the bastard – loves it).
5. Fried butter beans with feta and sumac – Oh, wise people does anyone know how to properly soak dried beans? Mine always don't turn out well. But this recipe is a good one.
After loving Plenty, when I saw there was a second book Plenty More I put it on my birthday wish list, and now I've been using it for a few months and I can officially say, it's just as good as Plenty. Yum
1. Rice salad with nuts and sour cherries – absolutely delicious
2. Quinoa porridge with grilled tomatoes – I've never been that into porridge, but thought I'd give this a try, it was good really filling and the grilled tomatoes were just AMAZING.
3. Squash with chile yogurt and cilantro sauce – yes please.
4. Crushed puy lentils with tahini and cumin – this is just...good and satisfying. I like to make it with yogurt flat bread as a main course. YUM.
5. Cauliflower cake – This is a savoury cake and it is crazy easy and crazy delicious. I like it with giant salad on the side.